Wednesday 8 May 2024

Remembering China Southern Airlines Flight 3456

CHINA SOUTHERN AIRBUS A330-323 B-5966 (MSN 1625)

On the 8th of May 1997, Flight 3456 departed from Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport (CKG/ZUCK) at 19:45 local time, with an expected arrival at Shenzhen Huangtian Airport (SZX/ZGSZ) at 21:30. The flight was cleared for the approach to Runway 33 by the Shenzhen Airport approach controller at 21:07. At 21:17, the tower alerted the crew of extremely heavy rain on the final approach and requested visibility confirmation upon runway sighting. By 21:18.07, the crew confirmed the establishment of an ILS approach, and at 21:18:53, they reported sighting the approach lights, receiving clearance to land from ATC. Despite the controller observing the aircraft's landing lights, heavy rain obscured clear visibility. The aircraft made contact with the runway's southern end at 21:19:33, resulting in three bounces and damage to the nose gear, hydraulic systems, and flaps, prompting a go-around decision.

Performing a go-around and climbing to 1,200 meters (3,900 ft), the aircraft executed a left turn. The crew failed to activate the transponder for ATC position tracking, as indicated by the absence of a secondary surveillance radar signal. At 21:23:57, the crew notified ATC of their downwind position and requested airspace clearance for landing. An emergency was declared at 21:24:40, with a plea to clear the approach once more. Concurrently, cockpit alarms for the main system, hydraulics, and landing gear were activated. At 21:24:58, the crew requested full emergency airfield support and commenced a turn for a southern landing approach, which was granted. The aircraft veered off the runway at 21:28:30, breaking into three sections and igniting, resulting in the fatalities of 33 passengers and 2 crew members. 39 passengers out of the original 74 passengers (65 passengers and 9 crew) survived.

Aircraft Information:
Airline: China Southern Airlines
Code: CZ/CSN
Aircraft: Boeing 737-31B
Registration: B-2925
Serial Number: 27288
Engines: 2 x CFM International CFM56-3C1 turbofan
First Flew: 28/01/1994
Age:  3.4 Yrs. 

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